Local Senses

This film documents a series of workshops that took place between November 2019 - 2020 in and around the Royal National Institute of Blind People in Kings Cross, supported by The Mayor of London's Culture Seeds fund.

  • Natanya Mark
    Director
  • Nathan Bather
    Director
  • Natanya Mark
    Producer
  • Leonie Abrahamson
    Key Cast
  • Geoff Clark
    Key Cast
  • Rikki Jodelko
    Key Cast
  • Lizzie Nichols
    Key Cast
  • Colin Palgrave
    Key Cast
  • Lesley Palgrave
    Key Cast
  • Richard Simpson
    Key Cast
  • Natanya Mark
    Key Cast
  • Benjamin Jenner
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 8, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Natanya Mark, Nathan Bather

Natanya and Nathan are making a directorial debut with Local Senses, filmed over the course of one year : November 2019 - 20. Natanya's background is in participatory and community arts, and Nathan's background is in short form promotions and film.

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Director Statement

Natanya has been working with the Local Senses group members at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, since starting volunteering running the first creative making workshops offered there in 2017. Natanya created an atmosphere of experimentation, play and creative empowerment palpable during the creative making workshops that took place regularly over the following 3 years, spanning poetry, sculpture and sensory explorations.

Nathan joined the team in 2019, to capture some of the magic on film of what was happening in these sessions. Between November 2019 - 2020, Local Senses gained Culture Seeds funding from the Mayor of London to embark on a series of workshops led by Benjamin Jenner to develop strategies for exploring, and navigating outdoor space. In the process, we reflected on our local environment, and our sense of presence within it over time, through multi-sensory responses. Nathan filmed each of these workshops, which took an unexpected turn when Covid hit in March 2020. As a group, we continued to meet remotely, and worked up to an online showcasing in November 2020, with a publication soon to be released in collaboration with graphic designer Oscar Warr.

The work we were doing became a lifeline against isolation for many of the group members and the strong bonds formed during these sessions turned our workshops into a space for self-expression, hope and re-connection with ourselves and the outside world.

Lizzie, Local Senses group member: “Thank you for making us feel like we matter.”

Rikki, Local Senses group member: “Thank you so much for giving me the space to create in ways I never have before and for giving me the opportunity to hang out with such lovely people.”

Richard, Local Senses group member: "Nothing is quite as satisfying as turning a chronic situation into a positive experience; this course has been at the apex of refilling the cup. I was declared Severely Sight Impaired, in March 2019. My driving licence was seized, I feared losing my job, relationships and the future evaporated. In short, I felt completely f**ked and I make no apology for the terminology. Then the sun came out."

The film is primarily led by audio and we hope that the film will support those both with visual impairments and fully sighted to shift their sensory perspectives.